How to start an Internet business

The basic concept

  • You find a subject that you know something about and which can inspire you to write a few dozen pages of text (that's the content). Preferably the subject is popular with Web searchers and is not covered by very many websites.

  • You create a website to display your content.

  • You insert ads from Google into your web pages. Google supplies the ads and tells you how to use them. It's really simple.

  • You promote your website to the search engines so that they'll send you clients who are searching for the subjects you offer.

  • Web surfers come to your website to see what useful information you have to give them. While on the site, they click on the Google ads that offer products relating to the subject of your page. Every time someone clicks on one of the Google ads you get a few cents. Thousands of clicks = hundreds of dollars!

Then, it's on to Graduate School

  • Now that you've mastered the basic concept you really work at improving your website to attract more clients. More clients = more clicks on the ads = more money!!!

  • If it works with one website, why not two or three, or more? You may know about more than one subject. You may be able to write about it in more than one language.

  • There are other sources of income other than Google. You may want to use different forms of advertising on your sites. And then there's 'Affiliate marketing' which will probably be the subject of another book I'll write.

  • Then you want to really make the website as popular as possible. There's a science for that: it's called 'Search Engine Optimization' or SEO, for short. With SEO you get into the inner workings of Google, Yahoo! and the rest to give them what they are looking for in a website and to get them to send more and more customers your way.

Finding the subject

Start with something familiar

The word used by everyone to describe the information in a website is 'Content'. You will be creating content. The search engines (Google, MSN, Yahoo!) are always looking for quality content and will happily send customers to your website if that is what you are offering. You will obviously find it easier to write content about a subject that you're familiar with. But you may have more than one subject. We'll get to that in a minute.

Do you have a hobby?
It could be stamps or coins, model trains or antique cars. Even subjects that you would think are thoroughly covered are not always. For example, I am involved with youth football. There is obviously a lot of material on football but almost all of it on NFL football and college football. There is not much on youth football.

Do you have a talent?
Maybe you could write jokes, or poems, or greeting card blurbs that people would want to look at.
Maybe you can draw cartoons. Maybe you can take great photographs. Maybe you can do (cast?) horoscopes - thousands of people are willing to pay $5.99 per minute or whatever to talk to their Psychic friends!
Or maybe, just maybe, you could write the Great American Novel and publish it on the Web, chapter by chapter.

What about your job?
Could you build a site of construction tips or auto repair or bike maintenance?
Maybe you can use your Autocad skills to show-off house plans or garden layouts.
Maybe you're a college Professor with too much time on your hands. How about writing tutorials on the subjects you teach?

Find a niche, if you can.
Selling things or information in a specialized area where there isn't a lot of competition is called niche marketing.